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Question: How to shoehorn a Blog area and a CMS-lite function into XenForo

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by HydraulicJack, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. HydraulicJack

    HydraulicJack Well-Known Member

    Ok, I'm prolly gonna embarrass myself, but here goes...
    Currently I've got Forum- and Blogs content sitting in vB 3.8.6
    And the more I think about vB and read their Forum, the less optimistic and enthusiastic I am about mid- to long-term prospects. I've seen the pattern several times before, since the O'Reilly WebBoard days.

    So my question is, just for speculation...
    If I really want to get my content into XF as soon as XF becomes available, could I do the following:

    I would hope Forum content migration would be no biggie.
    Now re: migrating vB blogs.
    Functionally what is a blog? It seems to me (not a programmer or designer, etc.) that as an interim measure until somebody came out with a fully featured XF Blog, perhaps (with a little customization here and there, and hopefully just some semi-fancy rights management) I could create a Forum called Blogs, and configure it so each user will have the right to create one but only one sub-forum in it (where a little coding might be necessary but maybe not, eh K & M?), titled by username, and only that user has the right in that sub-forum to start a new thread, but everyone would have the rights to REPLY.
    Voila! Blog!
    Am I missing something other than some layout finesse (which could arrive as 3rd parties bring goodies to the XF market and K & M continue to do the hoodoo that they do so well)?

    Then to the matter of CMS-lite kinda sorta function (no rants necessary re: what I'm talking about is not a true CMS... I don't care necessarily at this time, just wanting the following functionality to the extent possible):

    Create another Forum called Articles. Editor-Moderators would have the rights to Promote (copy) selected Forum content to a Pages container at the beginning of a thread, and wah-lahhh people could reply with comments to the article.

    Um... Isn't that pretty much a very very very bare-bones posts-promoted-to-articles function pretty much within what XenForo appears to offer? Perhaps of course with a little extra customization coding (but may just require setting forum- and sub-forum rights and config variables correctly)?

    Like I said at the beginning, maybe my naivete and programming ignorance is blatantly obvious at this point and I should be embarrassed. But I just thought I'd ask. And... what have I overlooked, and what would it take to be remedied?
    rumel and Shanj like this.
  2. Dean

    Dean Well-Known Member

    Yes that would work, for us at least.
    • Forum called blogs with permissions set to only let the bloggers start at thread but everyone can reply
    • Forum called articles that moderators (only) can copy important things of interest into, with reference link to original content.
    At least that is what I think you are talking about. :)
    Akela and HydraulicJack like this.
  3. Awesome-o

    Awesome-o Active Member

    with forum-specific themes and custom thread fields you are there... 90%, anyway.
    Akela and HydraulicJack like this.
  4. HydraulicJack

    HydraulicJack Well-Known Member

    Glad to hear it! So K & M or others who know for sure... Are we in the neighborhood? Is this workable given the likely state of XF at beta?
  5. grant sarver

    grant sarver Well-Known Member

    CMS mean different things to different people. To some it's user created content, to others it's a news section/portal sorta thingy. I got turned off to it years ago by a Drupal Apostle talking "No more webmaster, everyone is now a webmaster. Taxonomy! We must have taxonomy"! I really just want a news/article system using a limited "editorial staff". For me, the "pages" might do the job. Somebody should start a market research thread here on what people want/need/expect from a CMS.
  6. HydraulicJack

    HydraulicJack Well-Known Member

    Um... I thought I just did, and queried about how I might be able to get what I want.
    I hope to hear from K or M or somebody else who knows, what they think about what I've proposed to meet my needs until somebody produces a more robust CMS and a more elaborate or ornate Blog.

    PS: I like your footer slogan, Grant!
  7. Onimua

    Onimua Well-Known Member

    Huge thread about it here: http://xenforo.com/community/threads/is-there-a-cms-planned.191/
  8. grant sarver

    grant sarver Well-Known Member

    Well yeah, sorta. I mean a thread to help define what the XF CMS "product" should be like, minimum and chocolate cake with whipped cream................Mmm, whipped cream!
  9. Onimua

    Onimua Well-Known Member

    There's plenty of posts there that describe what different people want a "CMS" to do for them, and what they want to see it do in connection with XF. That's why that thread is so large. :p
  10. HydraulicJack

    HydraulicJack Well-Known Member

    Noted (re: Grant's post). I of course don't own this thread, but I started it to find out specifically if what I proposed is feasible given the current state of the software (noting that's it's still in alpha of course, but assuming it won't get worse by beta).
    In that sense I feel like we're drifting a bit off topic because as Onimua mentioned and for which so graciously provided the link, there already IS a discussion elsewhere about future plans, the ideal CMS, etc.

    I do hope somebody who knows enough about the current state of the software will respond to my initiating query when they get the chance.
  11. grant sarver

    grant sarver Well-Known Member

    Sorry for the hijack. I did mention using the "pages", does that count? Neither thread is specific to my overall question. This one too narrow, the other one too broad.
  12. Ruven

    Ruven Well-Known Member

    XenPages: Page Layout & Versatile Content Manager

    • Step1: Could be the current Pages system. Eventually updated with more robust features until it becomes a multifaceted content tool for people to use in their own specific ways. Whats nice is that you could then choose to update it to the level of complexity that you want to have. It doesnt need to be a fully fleshed out CMS for you if you dont want that. The goal being to end up with what could be a blogging tool for some, a news/article system to others, or a simple portal, etc...
    • Step 2: Create a few different prefab Layout styles for the Pages system. News, Blog, List, etc... This would display your content in different ways.
    • Step 3: Ability to place Pages within a Chapter that could then pull and display content from the Pages into the Chapter area in a simple and organized way. Possible to include some secondary Layout schemes for Chapters.
    • Step 4: The Section area would then pull information from various chapters into one display area, while including some more advanced Layout schemes.
    • Step 5: The Book section would be the top level area that can pull information from anywhere. Not needing to follow any hierarchy, but instead based on the xF ID system. If you have Category/Forum/Thread/Post ID's, why not Section/Chapter/Page ID's ?
    • Step 6: A predefined set of Grids that would organize the Book in ways other than the default scheme. As well as the ability to make any Page, Chapter, Section, or the entire Book area into your sites "Home" page.
    • Step 7: open it up to Widgets, Add Ons, etc... to further customize the look and feel of the Page system.

    This builds up the Page system pretty organically and in small doable chunks that would provide a lot of functionality to those who choose to upgrade the system. Each step might be the perfect content system for a variety of users, while the next step might be too much for some. So you allow people to opt in to each successive step up the complexity ladder... or opt out.
    It can be as simple or robust as people want it to be. And we dont have to wait for years and years for you guys to implement it all in one fell swoop.
    This builds on top of itself.
    Keeping things basic and without widgets/plugin interaction till Step 7 allows for the system to grow without fear of compatibility issues or things breaking. Since the Page system would be a work in progress, unlike the finished product that is the Forum.
    Once the basic structure and mechanics of the xF Pages VCM (Versatile Content Manager) are worked out and the basic product is complete... then you can open it up to modders so they can go crazy creating modules, widgets, plugins, etc... whatever xF decides to call them.

    VCM = sidestepping the whole "thats not a CMS" argument. Just call it something else, and allow people to use it how they want to use it.
    Akela, Alien, gldtn and 9 others like this.
  13. grant sarver

    grant sarver Well-Known Member

    Hey Ruven! Great post! Really thinking out-of-the-box. Would you add your post to the THIS THREAD please? It really needs to be there. "VCM"? I like it!
  14. HydraulicJack

    HydraulicJack Well-Known Member

  15. HydraulicJack

    HydraulicJack Well-Known Member

    JEEZ Ruven... THANKS for taking the time to do such a great write up. I REALLY appreciate it! Wish I could give your post multiple likes!
  16. Ruven

    Ruven Well-Known Member

    Im sure Kier and Mike have run through that and other type of scenarios regarding a future xF CMS... but sometimes us users expect devs to explain everything in superfine detail before they even start working on it.
    Thats impossible.
    Once you start working on something you realize that your plans usually take giant detours along the way.
    And you can only plan so far ahead without completing what is in the here and now.

    Im mighty impressed reading all of the good info that xF has already shared, and ive only been here a day and a half.
    And im glad that they want to make their forum software as complete and stable as possible before making promises on what or how the content system is going to be.
    WhiteTiger and HydraulicJack like this.
  17. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    THAT is a CMS. If others think other ways about CMS, then they're going in the wrong directions.

    Its like those skin creators on wordpress, they call some of their themes a CMS - when it looks more like an portfolio frontpage, or even a magazine front page. Wordpress is a CMS in itself - but it is also a blog [platform] because the purpose of it all is to talk about your subject matter. 50% of the time, when they sell a "CMS" theme they usually fall flat of their expectations of how that skin sells.
  18. HydraulicJack

    HydraulicJack Well-Known Member

    Not sure if your comment was addressed to me, but if it was, I'll just reiterate that at this point the only issue I'm trying to address here is if the >current< capability of the forum as shown here in alpha would support what I described in the first post of this thread.
    If K & M have already addressed the specific issues I raised at the beginning of this thread, in the limited way I described my attempt at making XF work AS IS shown here, to fit my community's needs given the software as it stands now, I'd appreciate being pointed to where they've said it. Thanks!
    Believe me, I totally respect their time/energy limitations and the lameness of asking them to repeat what they may have already said. I want them to spend the time they have in getting to beta, but I also owe it to my community to give them some idea of where the bleep we'll be headed, and whether or not there will be SOME kind of blog (where blog content from vB has been migrated) and SOME kind of articles area. They've been whipsawed by the bullcr*p from IB/vB for nearly a year now, so I feel I owe them whatever clarity I might be able to provide to them.
    My strong hunch is that XF IS capable of providing what I've described. I'd just like to hear that specific issue addressed by K or M since I'm considering on betting MY ranch (i.e. my site and community's future) on XF instead of on vB 4.whatever.
    Sorry if I sound testy about this. The whipsawing by vB has me fried.
  19. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    You could probably use what we have as a poor man's X, but they're not necessarily going to have the features to make it stand out. If you just use forums, you're not going to get customizable blocks or styles for the users, unless you go about setting all that up for them. Additionally, while we can support a number of forums, there is an overhead to doing that; the system is designed around having a known--and reasonable--amount of forums. If you have 50 people blogging, that's fine; if you have 50,000, you might run into a few more problems. :)

    If you're willing to accept the limits of multi-purposing a forum and do whatever custom coding is necessary for your ideas, I'm sure you could get something you'd be happy with. This probably sounds a bit like a cop out answer...
    WhiteTiger and HydraulicJack like this.
  20. Ruven

    Ruven Well-Known Member

    It was not directed at anyone specifically, but everyone, including me.
    Someone did praise me for the idea, i think i was trying to deflect the praise towards Kier and Mike who are deserving. My point with that is that im sure that at some point they have gone through all of these scenarios we are talking about.
    At least generally.

    Ultimately i think we as users put the cart before the horse a bit much.
    Lets wait for xF to be released before we start asking them what they plan to do a year from now.
    It makes no sense and is a bit presumptuous to start talking about expansion when your core product hasnt made you one red cent.
    If the forum does not create a heavy install base... there will be no CMS to even dream about.
    WhiteTiger and HydraulicJack like this.

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